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Emperor_krk

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The Silver Age of Poland
an AAR For the Glory!​

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Welcome to what will be one of the first After Action Reports written based on the new Europa Universalis game: For the Glory. I am Emperor_krk, I have participated in the betatesting of the game and am very happy to present to you a taste of what Crystal Empire Games, a programming team based on long-time EU2 modders, has produced in the almost two-year-old history of the release of the Europa Engine.

Those familiar with Polish history should have guessed the content of this by the title itself - while the Golden Age in Polish culture is identified with the 16th century and the rule of the last few of the members Jagiellonian dynasty, the Silver Age is usually placed on the second half of the rule of Sigismund III Waza and his son - Władysław IV.

Our story begins in 1617. Poland stands rather strong both internally and internationally: we have beaten the Russians during a period of their internal problems (the Time of Troubles) and signed a peace treaty with the aggressive Swedes (1611); good relations of our king Zygmunt with the catholic Habsburgs ensure a stable southern border. Domestic situation is unproblematic as well: the overambitious magnate Jan Zamoyski has died in 1605, and the rebellion of Mikołaj Zebrzydowski was taken down by 1609; although those events prevented the strengthening of royal power Sigismund had been craving, the situation evolved into a status quo that lasts.

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I know the image is huge - I just really, really wanted to show that FTG supports all resolutions :)

The main purpose of this AAR is to present to a wider audience the new features of the game. We start the game, as already stated, in 1617. From the very beginning we get a some useful notifications, all of which were I think mentioned in DDs already. Nonetheless a little reminder: from left to right we get a message that there's revolt risk in our provinces (that's due to my religious sliders not having been yet set the correct way); next is a reminder that we can change our Domestic Policy sliders (we move one point towards Centralization, by the way). Next one reminds us that our military upkeep is at 100% - something unnecessary when at peace (we don't change that though, for we have plans for the near future... ;)), and the last one tells us that we can build improvements in our provinces: Bailiffs, Governors, and Chief Judges (in that order).

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A quick overview of our current diplomatic situation: we have one vassal, Courland, lots of enemies around (Russia, our target for the first war; Sweden, who we intend to leave alone indefinitely, if possible; Ottoman Empire which we don't really care for, as they don't have anything that interests us, and they are going to be busy with the Habsburgs anyway; and finally Brandenburg, who have claims on our provinces and might prove problematic later on, especially because they surround our very valuable Centre of Trade in Danzig), no allies, even potential, within reach (I don't count Courland, they're too weak).

ScreenSave6.jpg

The new Revolt Risk map mode

We readjust the religious tolerance sliders to level the unrest in our lands, and order our soldiers to move to positions on the border with Russia: one army into Smoleńsk, under command of the current king's son, Władysław IV; another one into Połock, under the king Sigismund (Zygmunt) himself, and the last to Ukraine, under Stanisław Lubomirski. On April 2, we declare war on Russia: their apparent lack of army makes us hope for a quick and successful campaign. Goals for this war are quite simple: to acquire the contested lands of Donetsk, Belgorod, and Kursk (plan minimum), and Tula and Velikiye Luki as well - if possible.

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Emperor_krk

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The Russian army was indeed almost non-existent at the start of the war: small detachments were scattered around the territory, and our incursion met no resistance. By the end of July, Kursk and Moskva had been conquered, while the beginning of the year 1618 saw Tula and Belgorod subdued and Novgorod under siege (before New Year's Eve it's citadel was successfully assaulted as well). In the meantime, the Muscovites finally mustered a formidable force under Mikhail Shein and Dmitri Pozharski, which was sent to retake the Kremlin in Moskva. A nice, new feature, by the way: an army left in a newly occupied province doesn't suffer attrition, even in winter, like it used to in EU2, which makes perfect sense in my opinion.

ScreenSave16.jpg

In March 1618, the Russians sent their first peace offer. They would give us Kursk, Tula, Belgorod and Donetsk - almost all the provinces we were occupying at the time. We declined it (oh, how we will regret it later!), for it seemed that although the Ruskies had taken back Moskva, we would be able to get more than that in later negotiations.

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June of 1618 saw our first major defeat: an overwhelming force of 20'000 Russians took on a twice smaller Polish army, awaiting reinforcements outside occupied Novgorod. Our force was, however, able to inflict considerable damage on our enemies: with our losses equalling some 5'500 men, the Russians lost almost thrice that number. The remainder of our detachment, under king Zygmunt, then rode to Velikiye Luki, where it met with 10'000 freshly recruited infantry who quickly assaulted the walls of the city. At the same time, the king's son Władysław was, once again, besieging Moskva once again. With Velikiye Luki in our hands, Zygmunt III then proceeded across the Moskva river to assist Władysław in another storming of the walls of the Kremlin, which again was successful.

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Emperor_krk

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With Moskva in our hands, we decided to send our own peace proposal to the Russians. With War Score as high as 72% we believed that our demand of Velikiye Luki, Tula, Kursk, Belgorod and Donetsk (worth together 46% in WS) would be easily accepted. However, it appears that the AI not only builds large armies, it also takes them into account when calculating responses to such proposals. It must have been their huge army gathered in northern Russia, three times larger than the Polish one, that made them reject our offer. Several similar offers were sent in the consecutive months, still to no avail. And it was too late for our scouts to notice the 43'000 man army that was marching in the direction of Zygmunt III's force to withdraw: surprised, the Polish troops' numbers have been halved in the battle that ensued in November. Even more bad news followed in December, when a declaration of war was issued from a direction least expected: our vassal Courland! Thankfully, they were not allied to any greater power and decided to fight the war on their own. Immediately, they sent their forces into Polish Livland; this threat we would have to deal with later.

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It would take our men more than half year to regain some strength after the defeat at the walls of Moskva; with new recruits arriving in the Polish camp near Tula, a new campaign was launched into the province of Ryazan, where a small Russian force under Pozharski had been spotted. Defeating them was a minor victory, followed by a lengthy and unsuccessful siege of Ryazan, which had to be called off in order to avoid losing huge numbers of men to the winter cold. The Polish force was then sent towards Riga, the capital of Courland. This threat was enough to convince their prince Friedrich Kettler to back away from the war and sign white peace with his former overlords.

The year 1620 was another streak of bad news: Novgorod, Moskva and Tula fell back into Russian hands; it wasn't until late November when the Polish army was again strong enough to attack Tula, which we retook soon afterwards. It was at that same time that a rather strange news reached the court in Warszawa: the electors of the Holy Roman Empire had chosen a minor prince of Polish descent from Pomerania, Bogusław XIV, as their new Emperor!

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Note the refreshed Holy Roman Empire view!

In 1621, word reached Poland of a Turkic tribe calling itself Nogai Horde had declared war against Russia. This news was welcomed with pleasure: a war on another front, even with a technologically inferior enemy, would surely be a great distraction for the Russians. With this in mind, another siege of Moskva was initiated, which succeeded later the same year. And although it could have been wise to fight the war until a satisfactory result was reached, with Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's coffers empty, its Sejm and king decided to demand from Russia only the lands to the immediate east of the Lithuanian borders: Kursk, Belgorod, and Donetsk. The peace was signed in the Polish city of Smoleńsk on the 2nd day of February, 1622.

ScreenSave40.jpg

Three weeks later a session of the Sejm proceedings was called in Lublin. It was decided that the country needed a period of peace in order to recuperate somewhat after the war. To achieve this, a strong alliance was sought, to ensure the safety of at least some borders; despite strong opposition from non-catholic nobles (mainly the protestants of Polonia Maior and Pomerelia and the orthodox knyaz's of Ruthenia, Ukraine and Lithuania), the most suitable candidate for an ally was found in the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand II Habsburg. The inclusion of Poland into the alliance with Austria, Bavaria, Spain and Portugal was signed in March 1622.

Peace was indeed found in the following years: the nobles were able to set their estates back on track thanks to releasing peasants from military service, and money from taxes started to fill the state coffers. Several small rebellions erupted in southern Ruthenia, but those were easily put down (notice the handy notification on the map below!).

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There's another small but useful feature in the picture; the first one to spot it gets a cookie :p
 

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unmerged(166917)

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Oh really interesting.
I almost missed it!
I'm subscribed.
 

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Why, oh why, was this week chosen for a chemistry test? :(
 

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Nice :D
 

luk3Z

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Really good AAR.

I spot also date in msg window about war and terrain type in tooltip :)
BTW Zygmunt's crown isn't from Vicky ?
 
Last edited:

Samorim

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Nice one.:)

There's another small but useful feature in the picture; the first one to spot it gets a cookie

Let me start... General's stats information? Or War Exhaustion in Ukraine?
 

hildoceras

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congratulations to Emperor_krk who did it really on short notice, for a great job :)
 

unmerged(49695)

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Nice one, keep going!
 

Emperor_krk

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Really good AAR.

I spot also date in msg window about war and terrain type in tooltip :)
BTW Zygmunt's crown isn't from Vicky ?
Date in message window is copy-pasted in MSPaint from the place it normally resides ;). Terrain type + winter (if relevant) is indeed one feature.
Nice one.:)
Let me start... General's stats information? Or War Exhaustion in Ukraine?
Yes, I meant the general's stats next to army information :).